'We're building Will up, not bursting him' - Keane backed to make big contribution for Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 16:38 18 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:00 18 November 2019
Ipswich Town assistant manager Stuart Taylor believes there's a lot more to come from striker Will Keane.
The forward, signed as a free agent in August following a loan spell last season, has been playing catch-up after missing out on pre-season at a time when he was without a club following summer hamstring injury.
He's played just six times this season, making just one start in the league, but Taylor believes there is plenty more to come from the former Hull man and stressed there's no need to rush his progress.
"That's the expectancy of it and why we're building Will up but not bursting him," Taylor said.
"It's about real competition for places and you're talking about three very good strikers (Kayden Jackson and James Norwood) here who can all play as a lone striker, when needed, as well as in a twin pairing.
"They're all good enough to do it, intelligent enough to do it and know the roles well.
"Will never did pre-season with a club or the lads, although he did do pre-season by himself, but we're delighted with how well he's come through everything.
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"We need to be careful not to push him over the line too soon. We need to get as much as we possibly can out of him but we need to be sensible and not push him too far."
Keane started against Lincoln in the FA Cup before missing out on the EFL Trophy trip to Colchester three days later, but Taylor insisted there are no injury concerns and he will be back in contention for Wednesday night's replay against The Imps.
"He's probably in the same boat as Emyr (Huws) where it's a building process," Taylor said of Keane.
"He's on a process where you need to do things in stages so that we don't push him too hard too soon and Saturday-Tuesday is a lot for players who are coming back from long-term injuries.
"Will's in that category without a doubt and maybe Colchester was a little much too soon. He's fine and trained a couple of days after the Colchester game but the demands of training, and as much as we have the high demands in training, you're not going to get the intensity, risk of knocks as you would in a game.
"He's come through training fine."
Keane's only goal of the season came in the EFL Trophy victory over Gillingham last month.